By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 121 – May 1, 2005
Now Playing: “April's Fool” by The Merrymakers
The month of April was a difficult one for Text-Heavy aficionados, as the sudden loss of their favorite Internet humor column sent them spiraling into a state of miscarriage-inducing panic. Until today, many people believed they would never again be moderately entertained for 10 minutes every Sunday night after they finished watching The Simpsons and the first five minutes of Arrested Development, which is the longest anyone has ever watched that god-awful waste of the talent of David Cross. But Text-Heavy is back, uncancelled just like Family Guy but with more limited appeal, as evidenced by the fact that the Family Guy DVDs have outsold Text-Heavy merchandise by a factor of 8 million to 0 according to statistics I obtained from Akbar the Economics Centaur who lives in the underground tunnel that joins my house to a Starbucks in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in a dream I might have had after breaking into a methadone clinic. What happened to good old T-H, as it is amicably referred to in various Internet comedy expos, conventions and rodeos? The answer will shock you. Here's what happened:
-I was awoken with a start at the unholy hour of 5:30am on a Tuesday by a knock at my door. This was unusual, because the maid/girlfriend knows I don't like to be disturbed before 7. “Open up,” a serious voice belted. “Police!” At first I thought that sort of thing only happened in the movies, and I therefore must be dreaming. That's why I called back, in a groggy and irritable tone: “You can't arrest me! I'm white AND I voted Republican.” Being Canadian I realized this didn't make a whole lot of sense (there are no white people in Canada) but hey it was my dream (or so I thought) and I could take whatever creative liberties I wanted to. This was probably my first mistake.
“Here I was being led back to a holding cell. Me! A white person! And not even one of those Trailer Park Boys white persons, either.”
-After the door was busted open approximately eight seconds later, I found myself being handcuffed and led out to the back of a police car. “Great,” I thought to myself, which is really the only way possible to think…I mean how could you think to someone else unless you were some kind of telepathic mastermind like in Minority Report, and even they needed special equipment and a pool of melted Jello to get that glisteny sheen that reflected off their submerged foreheads… “There goes my damage deposit.” I later found out that my roommate replaced the door during my absence, so I actually probably WILL get my damage deposit back someday, but that did little to quell my fear of losing half a month's rent and a future tenancy reference.
-As the cruiser pulled out of our driveway, my mind began running through the possible reasons I might be in this pickle of a jam, which was a phrase that seemed way funnier at quarter to six in the morning. “Maybe someone leaked next week's column about the mating habits of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker of Ecuador, a column so controversial it makes the Satanic Verses look like Bill O'Reilly's children's book, which is actually sort of controversial as well when you think about it. Or maybe they intercepted the bag of hash I sent my mom for her birthday. Or maybe they discovered the necrophiliac child pornography ring of which I just said too much.” Hey, it's not nearly as bad if the kid was already dead when I got there.
-It turns out I was being arrested for something much more benign than any of those crazy ideas that you should in no way inform the authorities about. You see, back in 2003 I wrote a column about Friend Hookers, which I later realized should have been called “Frookin' Ain't Easy.” What you probably didn't know is that I actually started this business in real life, hiring several frookers and sending them out on frates (friend dates), as a means of supporting my cocaine and internet poker addiction. Well, it turns out some dissatisfied frooker was pissed off about my modest 10% commission and she talked to the feds and now I was in a heap of trouble for being a frimp. What malarkey!
-“Can I offer you something to drink?” Asked the detective after we arrived at the interrogation room. I figured this was a pretty easy question, and didn't really necessitate a whole room, but I played along. “Do you have Dr. Pepper?” Ordinarily I wouldn't answer a question with another question, but I thought that's how things worked in the interrogation room. I mean think about the name. Anyway, the detective comes back with a Diet Dr. Pepper, which despite the convincing ad campaign featuring Carmen Electra and Cindy Crawford tastes nothing like the original. I don't understand how they can get away with that “you won't taste the difference” bullcorn. There's the ringer in a blind taste test if I've ever seen one. (“Which one's the diet and which one's the original? I can't tell the difference. I'll guess… the one on the left is diet.” “Sir, that's butterscotch pudding.” “Why so it is.”)
-As if being served sugar-free crap wasn't bad enough, I was then told I would be placed in a cell and would only be released on $500 bond. “$500?” I exclaimed. “Do you realize how many frookers I'd have to collect a modest 10% commission on to pay for that?” After some quick math, we both agreed the answer was 167, and I would probably be wise to increase my modest commission to 15, or even 20 percent, in order to accelerate the process. The interrogation sort of degenerated from there.
-Up until that point I thought I had handled myself with decorum, good humor and aplomb. I mean, it was pretty early and I was still in my jammies, and here I was being led back to a holding cell. Me! A white person! And not even one of those Trailer Park Boys white persons, either. And yet, somehow, I had not broken down in tears and incoherent pleas for mercy. I was pretty gosh darn proud of myself. But all that changed when the cell door was locked behind me and I was forced to come to terms with the fact that I was now no better than a common Mexican. The tears came streaming down my face at the thought, and I suddenly found myself regretting not having paid more attention in high school Spanish class.
-In all the prison movies I've ever seen, the bathroom is a dank corner of the cell where flies buzz around a dilapidated rusty toilet and all the guards point and laugh whenever you have to poop. So at first I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that my cell had no bathroom at all. The relief quickly faded into puzzlement, however, when that shitty Diet Dr. Pepper finally wound its way through my small intestine and the need to perform a private bodily function became quite intense. I called over to one of the guards, a high school dropout named Tyrell whom I used to think I'd grow up to look down upon, and asked him what the deal was. He replied that the bathroom was “down the hall,” and I needed to ask permission and get a pass every time I wanted to go. It turns out what he meant by “down the hall” was “six and a half miles away, 877th door on your left.” Seriously. I think sherpas meet you halfway. Also there were cameras everywhere so I think Tyrell was still laughing at me while I pooped. Pervert.
-There's not a whole lot to do while you're sitting in a holding cell. A lot of people don't realize the sheer level of boredom you experience. I was offered some free weights, but I politely reminded them that I was Jewish so that wouldn't do. They brought me an old Maxim magazine but all the good pages were stuck together. The only videos they had available were PG-rated direct-to-video hits like “George of the Jungle 2” (“Watch out for that sequel!”). I tried accessing a computer so I could tell Court there would be no column that week, but Tyrell refused on the grounds that, quote, “nobody would care.”
-Finally, several hours later, I was transferred to an actual detention center where I awaited my trial date. The experience taught me a lot, such as that prison isn't just for Mexicans and hardened criminals like Osama bin Laden and Martha Stewart, but for ordinary folks like you and me. And now that the ordeal is behind me I can go back to living the life of sloth and youth exploitation I enjoyed before this fiasco. So to all you readers out there who patiently waited for Text-Heavy to return, and refrained from sending me any emails of concern, knowing that it would only increase my agony, thank you. I love you all. And to Court, who replaced me with a different Canadian columnist within a week of my disappearance, I just wanted to say I totally understand, and don't worry, I probably didn't make any friends while incarcerated. You hope.